A Travellerspoint blog


Whale watching, dolphins and seals.

semi-overcast 17 °C

We drove along the coast toward Blenhiem and stumbled across a layby in the early evening which was right next to a quiet beach. There were not many homes and hardly any vehicles on the road either. I decided that this could be a good spot to park up, cook some dinner and get some sleep. We didn't see any signs to say we were not allowed to stay there, even though we had a prime spot of next to the sea.....unlike in the UK where a hefty parking fee would be insistent before you take the key out of the car! We fell asleep to the sea lapping onto the shore, a familiar sound. In the mourning we found we were in Koikoura a small town which boasted Whale watching tours and their own seal colony just up the road.

We set off to see the seals and another freebee....park up and there they were just off the road plenty of seals just soaking up the sun.....stinking of fish...but they were there and we saw them in their natural environment......amazing!

We decided to check out the Whale watching tour and it comprised a short boat trip for the afternoon and a guarantee of 80% of your money back if you didn't see one. So I paid up for us to go on the tour. We had a very nice boat (compared to the Thai boat journeys) abit of luxury taking us out to see and I was dubious of what we would see....in the sea! After a while and plenty of possible sightings, getting in and out of our seats there was an announcement "on the left side you can see a sperm whale" I looked out and yes there it was blowing water up into the air. A clear view of this creature ....a long shiney grey rubbery looking thing. It was unreal, you couldn't see the eyes just its back until we were warned that it was going to dive down. They stay on the surface for apx 10 mins then dive down for 40 mins. I got the camera ready for the famous tail in the water picture but when I saw the tail in the air against the empty sea I didn't press the button because it was the first time I had seen this and before I had got over the wow factor and was ready to take the photo he had gone.

We went back to our seats and I thought it was all over but was so content from what I had seen I couldn't believe it when they announced a second whale this time on the right. Again I saw and tried to take the photo but wasn't quick enough. Back to the seats for a few more minutes before I heard "theres a pod of dolphins now" I rushed out and I couldn't believe what I saw......pod....apx 100 dolphins leaping and spinning clear out of the water. I couldn't help think of the dolphin watching in Goa where I saw two jump out, these ones were a lot smaller but they certainly put on a show for us weaving around each other, around and under the boat now that was absolutey amazing and I will never forget. I could have watched them all day they were beautiful! On the return back to shore another announcement.....a humped back whale!!!!! How lucky were we!! What a day.....seals, whales and dolphins! We left with big smiles about New Zealand and how fantastic it was and we were only on day two!!

Posted by Vicky Bailey 22:04 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beaches sea whales dolphins kaikoura penguins journey campervan mother_daughter seals blog world_trip back_packing chloe_bailey flash_packing Comments (0)

Leaving Australia for Christchurch New Zealand

Earthquake aftermath, Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island, Sydney, Collangatta, Manley Beach

So completely cutting out Australia as in we only went to Airle Beach, Brisbane, Coolangatta and Sydney cutting our Aussie trip from anything upto 3 months down to 2 weeks is quite some decision making but believe me this decision is not one that I have lived to regret and to be honest if I did who cares! Why? Simple ......New Zealand is amazing! I can give you a run down of auz in a paragraph, yes I know I've issued out the best bits, yes I didn't give it enough time, yes......NO! Remember one thing here...I'm on a budget for two and staying in auz and not working is bloody expensive. Plus I have been there befo and I did like it, so it's not that I don't like it.....heres why........

Arrived in Brisbane and ended up in a really shitty backpackers hostel....yep....booked by Chloe....if you've read the porno set blog ....this one was like staying in a 12 year olds messy bedroom albeit was for one night so we could move one but it was a big curve for us as it was the first time since October we have had to shop and cook for ourselves. We had to buy a small cooler bag from Coles (same thing as Asda/Somerfields) to put our cold food in and attach a label with our name, room and date of leaving and only then was it allowed to go not the fridge with all the other blue Coles bags, don't forget where you put yours because then you have to search through 50-60 other blue Coles bags the same just to find your tag. We didn't get the bag for the first hostel to be honest, it was bad enough trying to get to our bed through the floordrobe that made us go out to eat. We couldn't even find Coles and I wasn't in the mood for looking for it, I was not feeling the love of Oz at all and couldn't wait to get to Airlie Beach where I remembered good times. We had to leave early the next morning and I cussed myself after having about 1 hr sleep.....mainly due to being in Oz I kept myself awake wondering why the hell I was there especially in some manky bedroom, anyway..... I got up having promised honestly the night before to drop the room key off to reception so that I didn't have to leave a depost of $20 and to my horror I couldn't find the key. I can only imagine I left it on the bed so we left with me worrying all day about the key that could only have been in the room.

Airlie Beach ....we stayed at the youth hostel which was very clean, we had been travelling all day and only just got onto the flight thanks to some lady who had clearly got out of bed the right side....thankfully. That night I was in bed half asleep in our 6 bed dorm and thought I could smell tuna, I opened my eyes and saw the bathroom door shut "perhaps thes someone in there eating tuna sandwiches". Is actually what I thought. I was being very understanding and even considered someone with an eating disorder...you know....too scared to eat in front of anyone....well I was half asleep remember. Next thing I knew was this moaning sound, which incidently soundly very ......sexually explicit......"ummmmm"........."ohhhhhhh"........"uuuuhhhhhhhhh". I did think one of the girls had brought a guy back and when I looked and saw no one I said aloud "are you alright over there?". I didn't get a reply from the girl but the others said that they thought she was drunk and that she had left the shower on. Let's go back to that tuna smell......yes ....not tuna sarnies.....as soon as they opened the bathroom door....tuna....she had thrown up all over the floor and the toilet. "Dont worry" i said "I know what to do". The puker was in no fit state to do anything and sat with another girls towel on around her asleep. I got one of the girls to stand in the bathroom and passed them the outside hose, I turned it on and instructed them to wash it away down the drain. Good plan aye.....well it would have been if it the drain worked....but it didn't....so it overflowed and spilt out into the dorm (which I thought was quite funny) unfortunately the girl holding the hose was very upset about this thinking it was her fault.....course it wasn't.....it was mine!

In the end we had to get the management in to clean it up. The funny thing of it was that whenever I had a shower after that if you got the water not enough....you could smell the tuna down the drain.

We had a trip to the barrier reef which was fun unfortunately the weather was bad on the way back and everyone except for me, Chloe and the staff threw up on the boat. I spent my journey helping an old lady bless her who couldn't keep it down ....bless her.

We had a great evening with the lovely Annabel catching up on stuff and having a few heart stopping moments......bank card....and lots of giggles. Also some great laughs with Mr Ross Leighton....who managed to keep his entire outfit on, which I'm told is very unusual.....bit i do have one incriminating photo of the WOW without the WW.....you know what I mean!! Not forgetting a night with Mr Henderson who tried to show his muscles in the punch bag machine but instead missed and ended up with broken fingers.....another good evening....lol.....muppet! X

So with all those events wrapped up nicely and the thought of not paying $5 for a bottle of water we left for New Zealand ....Campervan booked with luxury hot water and tv/DVD player.

When we got to Christchurch it was a it of a shocker, our plane was delayed by an hour and customes/passport control took about another 2 hours to get through...seriously. We were collected by taxi booked by our hostel and we given a guided tour through the journey by our driver who was brilliant. We were shown the devastation for the earthquake last year and even though I had seen it on the news I wasn't prepared for what was in front of my eyes. It was dark it you could still see hugh empty areas where buildings had been pulled down, roads all broke , barriers around blocks of houses. There are compulsary purchase orders etc on properties, imagine one day you just can't go into your home because it's too dangerous but it was ok the day before. It was the 4th deadliest disaster in new Zealand ever killing 185 people....imagine 185 people near you dying in one day....I mean one person is too many but these natural disasters that just wipe out people are not reported to us enough. They are still trying to rebuild their lives now ...a good year on....and still the road and barriers are up. It really opens my eyes to how fortunate we are, you know what the New Zealand people are really good people and very friendly, they are welcoming to new people and will do anything to help out. Its like a cruel twisting nature to deal this to them. Sometimes, a lot of times, I wish I had a magic wand that I could just wave and make it all better......but I expect a lot of people wish that too.

However, despite that most of Christchurch looks like its been in the blitz the people are amazing and we had a lovey time there for our one night before picking up our camper. So we are going to go back and go to the museum about the earthquake just before we are due to leave New Zealand. So far though......I wonder.....why doesn't everyone visit here....it's got to be the most beautifulist place in the whole world.....and I've seen abit of it already.

By the way...when we picked up the campervan.....we spent a good ten minutes in the car park because I didn't know how to start it as it was a mix of automatic and manual. I didn't want to ask and look dumb....so I spent ten minutes trying different techniques.....come on......what would you have done??????

Posted by Vicky Bailey 01:04 Archived in New Zealand Tagged beach christchurch brisbane journey mother_daughter blog world_trip airlie back_packing chloe_bailey flash_packing Comments (0)

Blog update

Hye People

Please bear with us as not been able to blog for a while, this is because the Internet is so expensive in Australia and new Zealand. We have many blogs to write as soon as we can get some free/reasonable wifi. Watch this space, by the way New Zealand is fantastic!!

Posted by Vicky Bailey 16:37 Comments (0)


Squirrels and Railay Beach

sunny 30 °C

After the disaster in ...that place beginning with P I don't want to mention, Christine and Gee recommended Krabi as they had been there already and knew it was a good place to go. So a whistle stop booking procedure and picked up to leave 45 mins later....how organised were we! The trip over was lovely ...very relaxing ferry ride into a small dock and being seasoned boaters now we managed to bag the front deck of the boat. Christine and Gee sat against a door though and wondered why it was rattling, then a man came out....! We had the best seats on the boat so we sat back with the sun shining down on us and the water was like a mirror....best journey yet. Unfortunately when we arrived we had to do the accommodation search and again it was a nightmare, we just couldn't find anywhere so in the end I went into the tourist information and they suggested a place which had vacancies. We got there and managed to bargain up a deal with the price and on seeing the size of the room we were relieved. Our room had a dodgy shower the whole time until our last night, it had six small jets of water that dripped out....it was pitiful! It rained nearly every night in Krabi and it poured, think it followed us from P town. We were in a restaurant....no 1 on trip advisor....and there wasn't enought tables inside so one table had a chair where the roof didnt cover a lady customer so she opened up her umbrella and ate her dinner, she just got on with it...no moaning or complaining, that was refreshing and I have learnt already that us English are professional complainers. Yes we are...it's true! For example i order poach eggs and toast for breakfast and scrambled eggs come out with toast, so what do I do? Nothing....I sit and eat what's infront of me, this wouldn't happen in England though, in England it would be sent back "I didn't order this, I wanted poached eggs!". See you soon learn over here that it doesn't really matter....don't they say eggs are eggs? No? Well something like that anyway. You know what I mean, we are spoilt...we order and want and expect. We need to appreciate that we have breakfast, I won't be complaining or expecting so much......we will see anyway.

We hired mopeds again and this time they were the business....the best ones yet and brand new! Really funky with skulls, mouths and flowers on....Scoopys if I recall. We buzzed around looking at all the sights and one day we ended up at the Buddah at Tigers Cave which had a staggering 1234 extremely steep steps to the top. This was really hard work and after the first 100 I knew it was going to be a struggle especially with the heat. Each step was like a breeze block ladder and the air was thick with the heat - this was really really hard and the sweat (been told that ladies don't sweat they have angel tears) was pouring! Going up took concentration to keep the breathing in tune and the looks on the faces of people coming down showed that it can be done. When we eventually got to the top some 45 minutes later the views were amazing plus there was a big gold buddah sat there (another buddah). I took loads of snaps and then promptly deleted them by mistake ......yes Chloe it was me ....I pressed the wrong button, panicked and took the battery out to stop it and luckily saved the rest of the photos, so it wasn't the camera....it was me! Sorry!

There is nothing like buzzing around on the mopeds with the sun beating down on you and the breeze against your face.....missing the Vespa! We met a young lad called Andreas and Gee invited him to dine with us one evening.....yes he turned up....course he did....four lovely ladies as company! The funniest bit was when we took his picture Gee asked if she could sit next to him so she could tell her mates she got off with him......bless him he looked petrified. We swapped emails as we were going to Bangkok at the same time so when I emailed him to update him he went on about Chloe's hair and how beautiful it was.....I think he though we were all after him!!!

Finally on the last day we went to Railay Beach which is beautiful and I wish we had stayed there but hey ....you can't research everything! We sat for lunch in the beach restaurant when I felt a tap on my head.....no not a sink tap....then it happened again, I looked up to see two squirrels sat on a branch....the tapping on my head was poo....nice aye......s**t on from a great height. Guess it has to be extra luck for that to happen! If you don't know what squirrel poo looks like....next time you have a chocolate peanut make sure it's out of an M&Ms bag!

Posted by Vicky Bailey 18:02 Archived in Thailand Tagged beach railay squirrel poo. krabi. Comments (1)

Koh Lanta

Mopeds and beaches

sunny 30 °C

Koh Lanta.....suggested by Asheigh we met in Goa....a quiet place with plenty of beaches. Easy enough to get to being just another ferry ride away from us for just over an hour. The journey wasnt too bad and now we were travelling with Christine and Gee. It's interesting to see what sort of luggage people bring, we have seen men with the biggest ruck sacks in them world, the men's knees buckling under them with the strain on their backs whilst their wife/girlfriend wanders bagless besides them. What do these people put int these bags? Honestly some of them a so big and it is nearly always the men. I would have thought all they would need would be a few pairs of shorts and a couple of tshirts...i think they carry ironing boards....computers, sinks etc! We have only small bags literally 11kg and that's bad enoughh lugging that around especially when you have to pick it up and put it on. So Christine and Gee had their luggage....two big suitcases and hand bags, now to be fair they didn't intend on moving around so much and theirs were not the biggest of cases by along shot. We had a lot of practise getting ready for the trip in packing and unpacking, knowing what we needed to take and what we didn't. I left so much stuff at home that I wanted to bring but wouldn't be able simply because it would make the ruck sack too heavy.....I still regret not packing my white dress though :/

Christine and Gee said they soon found out what they actually needed to bring but a lot of the time when there were awkward moments getting the cases on and off ferries, or up and down stairs....a young muscley bare chested Thai boy would just pick up the case as if it were a bag of sugar and throw it on is shoulder heading off towards our rooms "Cor....you're strong!" you would hear Gee say. But there were times when you cold cringe as they launch cases and rucksacks from the boat to the dock. Anyway well done girls on moving around with your bags!

Koh Lanta is a long thin island about 6 km wide and 30 km long with a decent road going right the way round....you can't get lost apparently but we managed it.....this time thanks to Chloe. We hired mopeds each from our resort....yes a resort....lovely little beach bungalows right next to the beach with its own beach bar and restaurant. The mopeds were about £3 for 24 hrs so we got on and decided to explore and single file on the road with our helmets and shades on off we went. Our own little bikers club poodling along at apx 25mph...ok...maybe max was 35. Its a lovely island very quiet with the potential to be a really busy island. There are soo man beaches which are practically empty, one each called long beach.....you can work out why it's called that, was like our own private sands...no one was there!

We zoomed round for a while and decided to head back, now as I've said before my internal sat nav can be it bit dodgy at times but today it was working (how can you get lost on a ring road?). I said to Chloe "is this the turning" meaning that I really thought it was the one we needed to get back to the resort "no" was the reply so being the leader of bike club I carried on and everyone followed me.....for miles! We got to a bit junction and had to admit we had missed the turning so back we went. We were nearly at the resort 5 more minutes and we would have been and my bike ran out of petrol. Not a problem I doubled up with Chloe and we got back.....in the dark now and it was dark because there's not been an investment in street lighting there. I told the manager about the bike being tired the last thing I wanted to do was sort that bike out "I'll get it tomorrow". I told him. This didn't seem to placent him....he wanted it now.....I did think well it's not going to get stolen....we're on island with only one ferry out a day! But still I got on the back of his bike and off we went to find it....miles and miles later "I think we may have gone past it" I said sheepishly "sorry". He was very good and probably though stupid English woman....I can't help it if my sat nav doesnt work! Eventually we found it ...five mins from the resort where I had left it funnily enough!

Our time on Lanta was mainly out on the mopeds zooming around looking at all the beaches. It is a beautiful place and I really hope it doesn't get dragged into the commercialised holiday spot that cn be around. Lanta is basic and relaxed.....keep it that way.

We found out there was a waterfall and decided to cut out the middle man, go there on our mopeds and have a look. New made it and there were elephants available to trek on and were told a 20 min walk to the waterfall. Actually the man we asked how far it was to go refused to tell us because we didnt park our bikes in his car park! We decided to do the walk how bad could it be? When we got to the river more like a stream we carried on for a bit longer but gave up in the end and turned back....I mean we all had on flip flops and had to wade through water, climb over trees, climb up steep mud mounds and down them ....it was a right old obstacle course!

It was an early morning start for the next leg......and we were going to regret this one!

Posted by Vicky Bailey 23:20 Archived in Thailand Tagged beaches sea koh journey mother_daughter blog lanta world_trip back_packing chloe_bailey flash_packing Comments (0)

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